CNBC recently retweeted an article from 2017 titled, “Here’s How Much You Save When You Don’t Have Kids.” In the piece, the writer breaks down estimates of the cost of raising children in different scenarios based on income level.
Of course, the numbers are ghastly. But my immediate reaction is the writer is totally missing the point.
Kids are 100 percent worth every penny. In fact, I could never put a price on my children. If I had a choice between parenting or having more disposable income, the decision would be a no-brainer. At the end of my life, I won’t be sad that I couldn’t afford a bigger house, more vacations, or designer clothes. I’ll be thankful for the rich memories and lives we’ve built with our children.
Plus, all of the money isn’t due “up front” when you welcome a child into the world. The hundreds of thousands of dollars mentioned in the article are paid–no, invested–over time. Adding a child might mean subtle lifestyle adjustments like eating out less (you won’t want to take your young children to the restaurants you enjoyed before kids anyway!), driving a slightly older car, or taking fewer vacations. Thankfully, none of those changes even compare to the joy I receive from my kids.
It’s also important to remember that you’re in control of most of the financial decisions involved in parenthood. You don’t have to get caught up in trying to keep up with the Joneses, buying your children every gadget, or enrolling them in every activity. Sometimes less really is more.
The game-changing truth left out of the article is … God provides. My husband didn’t think we were financially “ready” to have kids when we unexpectedly became pregnant. In fact, we were living in a tiny basement apartment, and he momentarily panicked when I showed him the positive pregnancy test.
But since becoming parents, God has met all of our needs and many of our wants. We also weren’t planning on adding to our family after our first child, but when we became foster parents to an 11-year-old, He provided. He has proven his faithfulness over and over.
Now, I am not advocating for being irresponsible, lazy, or going into debt on purpose and then waiting to see if God will come to the rescue. There is a difference in being reckless and living wisely while trusting in His provision. We can’t blindly expect Him to pay bills when we aren’t stewarding what He has given us well.
Genesis 1:28 tell us, “God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.” The next generation needs to be filled with Christ followers, and it is truly my honor to raise two of them.
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